Thrawn Trilogy Retrospective: Heir to the Empire Chapters 27-29

200px-HeirToTheEmpireWe’re nearing the end of the retrospective with only 6 chapters and 2 posts to go. In our last installment Leia left Kashyyyk and Luke learned about Mara’s past as the Emperor’s Hand. They’re running out of forest–what happens next? Onward!

Chapter 27 begins with the Chimaera testing cloaking shields, and by golly, they work. Pellaeon is worried about sending ships into enemy territory without communications. Thrawn says that’s how cloaking shields work–nothing gets in, nothing gets out. I like this bit of scientific world-building, as it keeps the Empire from getting overpowered. Pellaeon thinks they should use C’baoth for this operation, but Thrawn says all they need is careful timing. They can’t risk using C’baoth too much or too often, as they might grow dependent on him. Once C’baoth has Leia and her twins, his jaunts out with the fleet will just be momentary distractions for him. The test of the cloaking shield works…I guess? Nothing happens to it, but Thrawn is pleased and says the Sluis Van shipyards are theirs. Okay then.

Continue reading

Thrawn Trilogy Retrospective: Heir to the Empire Chapters 24-26

200px-HeirToTheEmpireWhen we last left our heroes (because Mara is a hero whether she knows it yet or not), Luke and Mara had just started trekking across the Myrkr forest. Let’s find out what’s going back at the base, shall we?

Chapter 24 starts with Karrde returning to Han and Lando and apologizing for rushing out so quickly. He’s always the consummate host. Han isn’t impressed, and asks if Karrde is working directly with the Empire now. (Next time you’ll know not to leave Ghent in charge of controversial guests, won’t you, Karrde?) Karrde reassures Han that he doesn’t want to work for either side, and explains that the Imperials have been harvesting ysalamiri for weeks. Han isn’t pleased by this and threatens to leave, but Karrde convinces him it won’t be safe with the Chimaera in orbit.

Continue reading

Thrawn Trilogy Retrospective: Heir to the Empire Chapters 21-23

In our last installment, Talon Karrde and his crew picked up Luke Skywalker and is holding him on Myrkr against his will. And Han and Lando are on the way. The chapters are getting really long now, and so are the recaps! Here we go! 

Talon Karrde's Myrkr base

Talon Karrde’s Myrkr base

Oh phew, Chapter 21 starts and we’re back to Karrde and Mara! What can I say–I’m predictable. Karrde tells Mara her that Han Solo and Lando Calrissian are on their way to Myrkr, which obviously has negative implications on the current “kidnapping Luke Skywalker” scenario. Mara tells Karrde he has no obligation to speak to them, but Karrde informs her that his associates debts are his own, and she should know that by now. She has a horrible thought, and asks if he’s going to give them Skywalker. Karrde seems disinterested in the matter, but she can sense the truth: he wants more than anything to know why she hates Skywalker. (Because he loves information more than anything!)  She refuses to say why she hates him; they bicker some more about why Han is there and what to do with Skywalker.

Continue reading

Thrawn Trilogy Retrospective: Heir to the Empire Chapters 18-20

In our last installment, we left Luke drifting in hyperspace. Let’s see if he can find his way out of this mess–or, rather, if a Force-sensitive former assassin and current smuggler can get him out of his mess. Shall we? 

The Wild Karrde and Luke's X-wing

The Wild Karrde and Luke’s X-wing

Artoo wakes up Luke to inform him a ship is approaching–a mid-sized Corellian bulk freighter. The freighter hails him and the lady on the comm identifies the ship as the Wild Karrde, and asks if he needs assistance. Luke says yes, I surely do, can you tow my X-wing too? Karrde is very generous and offers to do so for a small fee. Luke is suspicious about how the ship happened to come upon him, but he decides to take a chance and just be alert. I mean, he doesn’t really have much of a choice. Once he gets on the ship he tries to sense the crew aboard, but finds the aft section dark. He passes it off as lingering effects of the hibernation. Bad move, Luke! Bad move.

Continue reading

Thrawn Trilogy Retrospective: Heir to the Empire Chapters 15-17

The Noghri, sent to capture Leia

The Noghri, sent to capture Leia

When we last left off, our heroes had come together on Nkllon and the Empire was plotting to capture Luke Skywalker. In today’s installment, Luke proves he’s not one to go down without a fight. 

Chapter 15 starts with leaving Nkllon without incident (surprisingly) and everyone going their separate ways: Leia and Chewie to Kashyyyk on the Lady Luck; Han, Lando, and Threepio to fly around on the Millennium Falcon; and Luke and Artoo to Jomark in his X-wing. Han is understandably worried about leaving Leia, but Lando assures him everything will be okay. The Wookiees will take good care of her. They decide to go visit Talon Karrde, as Lando has a contact who can get in touch with him, and Han wants to propose a business deal to him.

Continue reading

Thrawn Trilogy Retrospective: Heir to the Empire Chapters 12-14

In the last installment of the Thrawn Trilogy retrospective, the Empire attacked Bpfassh, there was another kidnapping attempt on Leia, Luke had a vision of Mara Jade at the sail barge assault, and Mara Jade was thirsting for Luke Skywalker’s blood. Let’s get on with the show as everyone congregates on Nkllon. 

A shieldship escorts the Millennium Falcon to Nkllon

A shieldship escorts the Millennium Falcon to Nkllon

Chapter 12 starts with Han and Leia arriving in the Athega system, right off the bat we get a rather annoying callback to their arrival on Cloud City. I guess I can give it a pass because Leia lampshades the reference and, again, first post-RotJ book and all that. Because Nkllon is so close to the sun, all the space traffic need to be escorted in with shield ships. Normally they’d slave ships together and do a quick hyperspace jump, but the Falcon doesn’t have a slave circuit, of course, so they have to take a 10 hour trip with the sublights. There’s some tension in the air as the shield ship says they’re waiting around for ship that also doesn’t have slave circuits, but it’s just Luke. What a coincidence! Han worries it’s another trap, and asks Leia to sense Luke on the other ship. She says she’s almost positive it’s him.

Continue reading

Thrawn Trilogy Retrospective: Heir to the Empire Chapters 9-11

Welcome back for another installment of the Thrawn Trilogy retrospective! We ended last time with our heroes escaping the Noghri and Leia being sent back to Bimmisaari. In this episode the Imperials launch another attack, and Luke visits Dagobah. Let’s get on with the show, shall we?

Schlacht_Bpfassh

The Imperial assault on Bpfassh

First I would like to lodge a formal complain to Timothy Zahn for using another crazy planet that starts with a B. This time it’s Bpfassh. I know I’m to mess up this spelling, so I apologize in advance. The Imperials are launching a three-pronged attack and using C’baoth to coordinate the attacks. Pellaeon realizes it’s not only a test of C’baoth’s battle meditation, but also his ability to take orders. While watching the battle, he reluctantly admits how effective C’baoth is. He doesn’t want to think that the Emperor was controlling the Battle of Endor, but now he’s not so sure.

Continue reading

Thrawn Trilogy Retrospective: Heir to the Empire Chapters 6-8

Welcome back to the Thrawn Trilogy retrospective, in which I reread the trilogy and overload you with my feels, as the kids say. In the previous post, we met two of our antagonists. In today’s installment, the crap hits the fan–for the first time of many.

The Millennium Falcon arrives on Bimmisaari

The Millennium Falcon arrives on Bimmisaari

The New Republic envoy–Luke, Leia, Han, Chewie, and the droids–arrive on Bimmisaari. (How Timothy Zahn was able to keep track of how to spell all these crazy planet names is beyond me. Don’t fault me if I misspell them.) We learn that Leia never fully realized how to understand Shyriwook. I guess she’s not as adept at Wookiee as Ahsoka. They’re greeted by the Bimms, who ask Han to leave his blaster on the Falcon. They overlook Luke’s lightsaber, however, which turns out very good for him later on. After a half-hearted attempt to split up the group, Han and Leia go to explore the marketplace while Luke heads off to explore a nearby exhibit. Chewie stays on the Falcon, because he’s the only smart one of the group.

Continue reading

Thrawn Trilogy Retrospective: Heir to the Empire Chapters 4-5

200px-HeirToTheEmpireIn the last installment of our Thrawn Trilogy retrospective, we met most of the major players of the series and set the stage for the story to come. In Chapter 4 we meet two more antagonists–one major, one minor (who later becomes a huge part of the New Republic’s government). Onward we go!

The Chimaera arrives at another new planet, called Wayland. Right off the bat we have Zahn treating hyperspace travel realistically–well, as realistic as fictional technology can be. Apparently the Chimaera travels at .4 past lightspeed, and hyperspace travel isn’t instantaneous like it seems in some of the films (mainly Revenge of the Sith).

Continue reading

Thrawn Trilogy Retrospective: Heir to the Empire Chapters 1-3

The original cover art for Heir to the Empire

Welcome to the first post of the Thrawn Trilogy retrospective! First, let’s gloss over the history. Heir to the Empire was published in 1991 by Bantam Spectra, and was the first novel in the post-Return of the Jedi era of the Expanded Universe. Many people didn’t think the series would perform very well, but instead it sold out at nearly every bookstore and went through multiple printings. Bantam decided to continue publishing Star Wars novels, and here we are in 2014, with a sequel trilogy in production and the Expanded Universe spawned by the Thrawn Trilogy having been deemed non-canon. People thought Star Wars was dead when Heir was released; it’s debatable whether the prequel trilogy and sequel trilogy would’ve ever happened if this insurgence hadn’t occurred.

Onto the book! Heir to the Empire starts with a Star Destroyer, as do all Timothy Zahn’s novels set in the Rebellion and New Republic era. It’s a fitting start, as the Original Trilogy also started with the Imperials; and because the series later became known as the “Thrawn” trilogy, after the principal antagonist Grand Admiral Thrawn. We’re first introduced to Captain Pellaeon of the Star Destroyer Chimaera, and learn that he was present at the Battle of Endor and was responsible for the Imperial Fleet’s retreat. Somehow he met up with Thrawn not long before the series begins, and now they are starting their campaign against the Rebellion in earnest.

Continue reading